'Pressure on us to innovate': How CIOs spend on AI

Some CIOs are getting separate budgets for artificial intelligence as they aim to harness the potential of the burgeoning technology, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 27.

AI has been garnering interest from the top at many companies, with the spending sometimes being earmarked by CEOs, according to the story. "Building and deploying AI solutions has reached virtually every industry," Nvidia CFO Colette Kress told the newspaper.

"We always want more money, or we thought we always wanted more money, but now we have more than we know what to do with," Diogo Rau, chief information and digital officer of Eli Lilly, told the Journal. "There's a lot of pressure on us to innovate."

Seventy-two percent of CEOs called generative AI a top investment priority, according to a 2023 survey of 400 chief executives by professional services company KPMG cited by the news outlet. Generative AI also ranked as the No. 1 opportunity in a survey of about 3,000 executives by consulting agency AlixPartners.

Cisco CIO Fletcher Previn said at a Journal summit in February that he is trying to get more AI funding allocated from leadership. "Like everybody else, we have no money because we're an IT department, and every dollar is spoken for," he said. "You don't want to miss out on maybe the most important technology of the last 100 years because you couldn't close your Q4 budget."

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